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Wednesday, Sept. 1, 1999

Cincinnati's Century of Change
Looking back at the events and the people that have shaped the Tristate during the 20th century. Each part of this series is posted on


        Sept. 14, 1901: Thousands of Cincinnatians mourn the death of President William McKinley after the news is posted outside The Cincinnati Enquirer office. The 58-year-old president was shot by Leon Czolgosz, a member of a Cleveland anarchist group.

        Sept. 4, 1902: Fire of unknown origin destroys the Odeon, a leading musical institution at Grant and Elm streets, and damages the south wing of Music Hall.

        Sept. 20, 1904: Dr. J.B. Wilson of Cincinnati represents America at the Freethinkers Congress in Rome. The congress supports science over superstition, condemns Catholicism, protests against war and advocates an alliance of nations and the universal brotherhood of people.

        Sept. 1, 1908: William J. Breed dies at age 73. He was president and founder of Crane and Breed Manufacturing Co. on West Eighth Street, the world's largest manufacturer of metallic caskets and undertaker supplies.

        Sept. 20, 1909: Cincinnati City Council refuses to provide city water to outside villages unless those villages submit annexation requests.


        Sept. 10, 1911: Jean Nazly is the first to fly an airplane over Greater Cincinnati. It crashes into the Ohio River, but he survives.

        Sept. 24, 1913: A new law providing for a Municipal Court to replace the Police Court and City Magistrate is declared unconstitutional by Common Pleas Judge W.A. Geoghegan.

        Sept. 4, 1914: The Indian Hotel, a landmark on the south side of Fifth Street between Race and Elm streets, discontinues service. Owner Thomas Emery will transform the building into shops, offices and storage space.

        Sept. 15, 1916: After months of investigations, state inspectors arrest five physicians and four pharmacists in Cincinnati on charges of selling narcotics.

        Sept. 6, 1917: R.J. Codon, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, eliminates from the district all books containing information on German rulers and others whose aims conflict with American ideas of liberty.


        Sept. 1, 1920: The C&O Bridge over the Ohio opens.

        Sept. 28, 1920: The Hamilton County League of Women Voters holds its first meeting.

        Sept. 2, 1921: The War Department says it will install $300,000 worth of equipment if Cincinnatians donate enough land within city limits to establish an aviation field.

        Sept. 17-19, 1923: The Odd Fellows convention opens at B.F. Keith's Theater, bringing more than 45,000 visitors to Cincinnati.

        Sept. 12, 1926: African-American Lutherans in Cincinnati form their own church, Immanuel Lutheran, at 1337 Cutter St.

        Sept. 10, 1928: Western Hills High School opens.


        Sept. 27, 1930: Lunken Airport is dedicated after becoming a city-owned property. About 25,000 spectators see presentations by movie star Jean Harlow and aviators Jimmy Doolittle and Frank Hawkes.

        Sept. 30, 1931: Italy presents “The Wolf of Rome” statue to Cincinnati. Italian leader Benito Mussolini mistakenly believes the city is named after the famous Roman farmer-soldier, Cincinnatus. In fact, it is named after the 18th-century American Society of the Cincinnati, which is based on the life and legend of Cincinnatus.

        Sept. 24, 1934: Our Lady of Cincinnati College, an all-female school, opens.


        Sept. 17, 1942: The National Key Kollection Kampaign begins in Cincinnati with 10,000 cans distributed throughout the city. Metal keys placed in Key Kans will be used for the Navy's war effort.

        Sept. 9, 1944: Venus Ramey, formerly of Cincinnati, is crowned Miss America in Atlantic City.

        Sept. 2, 1945: Thousands of Cincinnatians celebrate V-J day (Victory over Japan) as the Japanese formally surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

        Sept. 24, 1947: George Dorsh, a pioneer in the construction and operation of wireless radio sets in Ohio, dies at age 87. The German immigrant lived in Cincinnati 82 years.

        Sept. 14, 1949: Cleveland Lawson becomes the first African-American to reach the rank of sergeant in the Cincinnati Police Division. He was promoted to lieutenant in March 1953.


        Sept. 15, 1950: Radio Corporation of America buys the Rich Ladder and Manufacturing Co. RCA will employ 1,500 people, 75 percent of them women.

        Sept. 12, 1951: Harry Hake, noted Cincinnati architect, dies. Two of his best-known buildings are the Cincinnati Bell Telephone building at Elm, Seventh and Plum streets, and the Western Southern Insurance Co. at Broadway, Fourth, Fifth and McAllister streets.

        Sept. 9, 1954: Safety Director Oris E. Hamilton announces that men will be chosen from the police and local gun clubs to shoot nuisance birds in designated downtown areas. The project has the cooperation of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

        Sept. 6, 1955: Taft High School, the first predominantly African-American high school in 20th-century Cincinnati, opens in the West End.

        Sept. 26, 1958: The Rev. Maurice McCracken begins fasting as his trial begins. He's charged with refusal to pay income taxes, as a protest against war.


        Sept. 14, 1960: Ground is broken in the West End for Park Town Cooperative Homes, billed as the first new middle-income housing near downtown since the 1930s.

        Sept. 6, 1960: McCauley High School opens in College Hill.

        Sept. 18, 1963: Cincinnati City Council selects the block bounded by Elm, Plum, Fifth and Sixth streets as the site for a new convention center.

        Sept. 1, 1967: The longest game in Crosley Field history goes 21 innings, with the Reds losing to the San Francisco Giants, 1-0.

        Sept. 10, 1969: The National Organization for Women forms its first Ohio chapter in Cincinnati when board member Elizabeth Farians, a Cincinnati native, meets with a group of local women at Edgecliff College.


        Sept. 5, 1973: The first of Cincinnati Public Schools' alternative schools — the School for Creative and Performing Arts and Hughes High School — open. Such “magnet” schools are designed to help the district achieve racial integration.

        Sept. 8, 1974: Mary Mechley becomes Cincinnati's first female, uniformed police officer.

        Sept. 17, 1974: The Albee Theater, one of Cincinnati's most spectacular movie houses, closes. The 3,300-seat theater is later torn down to make room for Fountain Square South.


        Sept. 11, 1985: Pete Rose gains immortality with hit No. 4,192, a single into left center field of Riverfront Stadium, breaking Ty Cobb's all-time hit record and sending hometown fans into a frenzy.

        Sept. 19, 1986: Christ Hospital reports that Cincinnati's first test-tube baby was delivered within the past week. The successful in vitro fertilization was done by Dr. O'dell Owens the previous December. The parents request anonymity.

        Sept. 16, 1988: Tom Browning pitches the first perfect game in Reds history, 1-0 over the Dodgers at Riverfront Stadium.


        Sept. 10, 1993: Plans are announced for a Cincinnati children's museum, to be housed at Longworth Hall.

        Sept. 19, 1993: John F. Shirey is chosen by a majority of Cincinnati City Council to be the city's 13th manager. The 43-year-old assistant city manager of Long Beach, Calif., was runner-up in 1990 when a fellow Californian, Gerald Newfarmer, was tapped for Cincinnati's top post. Mr. Newfarmer had resigned under pressure from council in March.

        Sept. 5, 1995: James “Pigmeat” Jarrett, a Cincinnati music legend who had been playing and singing the blues since the 1920s, dies at age 95.

        Sept. 9, 1995: The Cincinnati Herald,one of six African-American newspapers in Ohio, celebrates its 40th anniversary with a banquet at the Albert B. Sabin Convention Center.

        Sept. 9, 1996: Cinergy Corp. buys the naming rights to Riverfront Stadium for $6 million and immediately changes the name of the building to Cinergy Field.

        Sept. 25, 1996: Miami University trustees vote to drop the school's sports nickname — Redskins — out of respect for the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, which says the name is offensive. The school eventually chooses RedHawks as its new nickname.